- A group of incoming Republican House members are banding together in a bid to recreate the buzz around the "Squad," the Democratic Party's cohort of progressive representatives elected in 2018.
- The newly-elected Republicans are calling themselves the "Freedom Force."
- The group says it opposes socialism, and some members have claimed the Democratic left "hates" its values of love of country, support for business, and respect for God.
- Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is part of the Squad, said of the new group: "I mean it sounds ridiculous to me. I think they think they're in high school. We're in Congress."
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A group of incoming Republican House members are banding together and calling themselves the "Freedom Force" in an attempt to oppose the Democratic Party's progressive "Squad."
One member of the new GOP group, Rep.-elect Burgess Owens of Utah, told Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" that they will offer "a contrast to the hard left."
"We have a 'Freedom Force' versus 'Squad,'" he said.
According to "The Ingraham Angle," the group also includes Reps.-elect Nicole Malliotakis of New York; Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida; Michelle Steele of California; Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma; Victoria Spartz of Indiana; Burgess Owens of Utah; and Carlos Giménez and Byron Donalds, both of Florida.
The Squad got its nickname when then-Reps.-elect Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib tweeted a group photo with the hashtag #SquadGoals, according to CBS News.
Pressley told the network in 2019 the group happened organically. "And then it morphed into this thing," she said.
Now, the Squad's opposing number wants to reconstruct the same energy for the Republican Party.
Freedom Force group members have espoused an established Republican attachment to ideas of patriotism, and said they oppose what they call "socialism" within Democratic ranks.
Omar — who, along with the rest of the Squad, was reelected in 2020 — slammed the new group in an interview with NBC News.
"I mean it sounds ridiculous to me. I think they think they're in high school. We're in Congress," she said.
NBC News has credited Salazar for the "Freedom Force" idea.
Meanwhile, Owens emphasized the group's ethnic, national, and gender diversity. The 2020 elections saw the Republican Party enter record numbers of women into Congress for the first time.
Malliotakis told CNN that it was her motivation to "provide a counter-view" to the all-female Squad, who came to prominence in the 2018 midterm elections.
"One of the reasons we were so motivated to run was seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don't necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are self-described socialists," she said.
"This group will be talking and giving a contrast to the hard left," Owens told "The Ingraham Angle," with a particular set of shared values.
"We have a group of people who believe in our country, believe in God, country, family, respect for women and authority," he said.
He added that he thinks the Squad "just hates everything I just mentioned."
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